13 OCTOBER 2014
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Russia’s flag carrier Aeroflot welcomed its first non-Russian pilot when Klaus Rohlfs, a German citizen, made his debut as an Aeroflot captain flying from Moscow to Prague in late September.
Earlier this year changes were enacted to Article 56 of the Russian Air Code to allow Russian airlines to hire foreign citizens as flight personnel from 21 July. A Government Order allows the nation’s carriers to recruit up to 200 foreign citizens every year in total.
Aeroflot received more than 800 applications from foreign pilots (more than ten per vacancy) with the most applications coming from the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Spain. To date more than 40 applicants have passed initial selection and testing procedures.
“The Russian aviation market has great potential, and pilots here are in great demand and highly valued,” said Klaus Rohlfs. “For me this means reliable employment, and moreover I will not be far from Germany and my family. Working conditions at Aeroflot are excellent – better than any other airline in the world.”
Aeroflot’s management sees recruitment of foreign pilots as an essential transitional measure to help reduce Russia’s current deficit of flight personnel, which will require concerted long-term efforts. www.aeroflot.com
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